Going to a psychiatrist for the first time can be overwhelming. If you do a bit of thinking beforehand, though, you’ll find the whole process much less scary. Below are ten things that you should consider before your first visit, ranging from practical matters of finance and scheduling to your own personal needs when it comes to therapy. If you’re looking to visit Psychology Practise Brisbane CBD Dr Jane, you might want to spend a bit of time answering a few of these questions.
Understand Who You are Seeing
A psychiatrist is a very specific type of professional therapist. He or she has a medical degree and can prescribe medication, which a psychotherapist or counselor cannot do. While some psychiatrists also practice psychotherapy, the bulk of these doctors practice alongside psychotherapists to provide their patients with treatment. While you very well might talk to your psychiatrist about your problems and he or she might provide you with advice, realize that you won’t necessarily get the same benefits that you would from another type of therapist.
Know What You Want
Why are you going to see the psychiatrist in the first place? Don’t think about what others have told you or what you think you’re supposed to say – you need a defined reason for why you’re making an appointment. The better you know your own reasons, the more help the psychiatrist will be able to give you. Many of the other things you need to consider rely on this factor, so don’t be afraid to spend some time thinking about what your expectations are for treatment.
Consider the Costs
Cost is always a factor when dealing with a psychiatrist. It’s wise to spend a few moments looking at your insurance coverage and at your own finances before making an appointment. While it might be a bit embarrassing to have to ask, most offices are more than happy to answer your questions about pricing ahead of time. This should allow you to figure out if you can actually afford to work with a given therapist and how your continuing appointments might impact your budget going forward.
Look at Methodology
Psychiatry is a wide-ranging practice, so it’s important to stop and look at the methodology used by a psychiatrist before your first visit. His or her stance on certain types of treatment, the use of pharmaceuticals, and even the efficacy of parallel treatments can have a huge impact on how you are treated. Take some time to figure out what you’re comfortable with and then have a conversation with the psychiatrist. If you’re comfortable with the methodology, you should have a better working relationship going forward.
Define Success and Failure
What does a successful relationship with a psychiatrist look like to you? Is it a matter of learning something, treating a behavior, or learning how to manage a condition? Are you going in with firm goals, or are you just generally looking for help? It’s up to you to define the parameters for what success looks like with a psychiatrist, as well as failure. If you have reasonable expectations and limits, you’ll be better able to determine if the psychiatrist with whom you are working will be able to help you in ways that are most important to you.
Know the Limitations
A good psychiatrist can help you to work through many issues. He or she cannot, though, perform miracles. You need to have reasonable expectations about what the psychiatrist can or cannot do, and even more reasonable expectations about the amount of time that it will take to see results. If you can commit to treatment, you stand a much better chance of seeing success. Expecting immediate changes, though, will absolutely set you up for failure in the future.
What’s Your Schedule?
It’s always a good idea to have some thoughts about your schedule in mind before you meet with the psychiatrist. If your budget and calendar make it impossible to meet once a week, you might want to find a psychiatrist who is comfortable meeting weekly or monthly. If a psychiatrist is not available on the day on which you are available, you’ll have to decide if it’s worthwhile to change your calendar. If you can come in with reasonable scheduling needs, though, you’ll have a better chance of setting something up that works.
Try to understand that the person you will see is just another human. That means that the psychiatrist might have his or her own quirks, ranging from the way the psychiatrist expresses himself or herself to how punctual he or she might be. While you absolutely should seek out a psychiatrist who gels with you personally, it’s still wise to give him or her a bit of personal leeway. After all, most people who seek out treatment are looking to form a long-term professional relationship and thus must be willing to let the little things slide when possible.
Your Own Limitations
Going to a psychiatrist isn’t always easy. You need to be aware of your own limitations in terms of communication, availability, and even in terms of what you feel willing to share with a professional. While there is absolutely a degree of confidentiality between the psychiatrist and the patient, the onus is still on you to decide what to share and what to keep to yourself. If you want an effective relationship, you’ll need to be upfront about all of your own limitations when you speak to the doctor.
Where You Want to Go Next
Finally, it’s important to understand where you want to go next after you see your psychiatrist. Are you looking for a long-term relationship or a quick consultation? Will you need to couple your visits to the psychiatrist with a therapist, or are you strictly there for medication? Try to decide what you want next from this process.